Student FAQs

What Happens During a Session?

The primary feature of a Writing Center consultation is a focused, in-depth conversation about your piece of writing.

Sessions always begin with you. The consultant will first ask you to direct your session by inquiring about the writing project you’ve brought to work on, what specific needs you have, and what you would like to focus on during the allotted time. After you establish your needs, you can expect that any writing you have brought to the session will be read out loud, either by you or your consultant. This is the best way to get the conversation started. From this point, your session can go in many directions.

An African American student in a session with a white man wearing a UWC T-shirt

Consultants are trained to prioritize higher-order concerns when working with a writer. This means that we address the development of ideas, assignment requirements, enhancing clarity, maintaining audience awareness, reflecting on purpose and organizational consistency first, as these are the intellectual components of the writing process that are the most vital.

We address lower-level concerns as well, such as improving your grammar practices, identifying error patterns, guiding you through documentation style guides and assisting you with online information references. However, it is important to understand that we help you learn how to use resources on your own so that you can find answers to questions independently.

Any edits or corrections you want to make to your writing during a session must be made by you. We can’t “fix” your paper for you, but we can help you fix your paper for yourself. It is also important to understand that a consultant will serve as your peer during a session, not as an authority. This means we are not able to predict how your instructor will assess your writing, and we can’t predict your grade. Only your instructor has that authority.